No one shall be alone in the afterlife

Grave markers in Okonuin for those who died without friends or family.

One of the more haunting sights in the cemetery outside Okunoin 奥の院 in are piles of unmarked gravestones, purportedly belonging to those who died without friends or family. It is strange to think that in death they may find more closeness than they did in life. You may notice several of the markers are wrapped in cloth, knitted caps, and bibs, a custom meant to draw the attention of the bodhisattva Jizo, guardian of children.


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